September 16, 2010 5:53 PM   Subscribe

What are some every day physical gestures, common behaviors, and/or spoken phrases stereotypically favored by elderly people?

I realize this is a blanket generalization, (as many elderly people are adept with technology or are in good health, whereas plenty of young people have rheumatism or the like,) but I'm looking for examples of things elderly people typically tend to say or do in the course of their day-to-day lives, that are particular to their age set.

Please note: I'm especially looking for anything that conveys a sense of being a bit out of step with modern times.

For example:

--the cliche of having difficulty seeing the buttons on their remote control or the cell phone.

--Tipping an amount that was considered generous fifty years ago, like a quarter.

-- Calling people "my boy" or "sonny."

(Not meaning to be offensive, and I of course realize these are not applicable to all elderly people.) Thanks!
posted by np312 to Society & Culture (50 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is like asking how long a piece of string is.

I wait on older people at work a lot. There are tons of older people at the gym I go to (connected with a hospital.) Other than some of them being bent over with a bit of osteoporosis they are as individual as anyone of any age.

Most of them are a bit more on the frugal side, if that helps.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

To what end? A novel?

What ethnic group?

Take a look at the How Not to Act Old blog for some tips that are specific to women.

Here's one--insistence on using exact change.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Keeping a tissue or hanky in their hand as they talk, and periodically wiping the corners of their mouth or their eyes.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Incorrect/offensive race related words and phrases.

My southern grandma still calls Asian people "Oriental". We've constantly try to break her of this, but it doesn't seem to be working. Thankfully she gave up "Colored" and "Negro" a very long time ago.

She also says "Well I'm a son of a bitch!" whenever she's pissed off and/or indignant. But that's probably just her.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:11 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Calling things "The _____" rather than just "_____".
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]

Writing checks. Let me qualify that: my dad is 72 and loves to use online banking. My stepmother is 65 and will not use online banking and will only write checks...for everything.
posted by govtdrone at 6:20 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

the cliche of having difficulty seeing the buttons on their remote control or the cell phone.

I work with the elderly, mostly teaching them technology. It's not a "cliche" that they can't see buttons, it's their eyesight degenerating. Granted not all elderly people have poor eyesight, but most of them wear glasses. You might have some better luck with this question if you explained why you were asking and if you were a little more clear in what sorts of things you are looking for.

As the body ages, many things happen to it. If you're actually curious about this sort of thing, you might be interested in the study of geriatrics. I presume you're not looking for things related strictly to health, otherwise there are things like "old people, they take a lot of medicine!" and "old people tend to not be able to remember things." You can also add things like "old people, they drive slowly" but again this is usually related to slower motor skills/reflexes and the aforementioned poor eyesight.

My landladies are a couple in their eighties. The things that I notice about them is that they leave newspaper clippings for me instead of sending me an email [they do have email]. They delete all their old email messages and don't save them. And they don't give a shit about what Wikipedia says about them [they're a writer and an illustrator respectively]. They leave bags of vegetables for me on my steps from their garden. It's hard for me to differentiate what is older person behavior and what is just "rural living" behavior since I know people my own age who do a lot of these things. The kleenex up the sleeve thing, that's something that I don't know anyone under the age of 60 who does and I don't think I know anyone over the age of 60 who doesn't.
posted by jessamyn at 6:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Older women fiddle a lot with their pocketbooks at cash register counters. Inventory?
posted by Pennyblack at 6:47 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Elderly ladies also sometimes sit with their purses in their laps, both hand folded on top of the purse.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:19 PM on September 16, 2010

I don't know anyone younger than fifty who wears their trousers over their waistline... I mean *over* their waistline - like near their chest. My first mother in law wore them that way, just yesterday I saw a man with his up there. Neither of them had a big belly, so I'm not sure why they have their pants pulled up so high...

I've seen it often enough to link it to age.

And I'll second the paying with exact change - my uncle does this all of the time.
posted by patheral at 7:20 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've noticed that when I meet an older person (particularly someone over 80), they'll say "Glad to know you" instead of "Glad to meet you." When did that distinction come about? (And when did we get so danged chummy in the first place?)

Acrylic cardigans.
posted by Madamina at 7:28 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm an older person. I wear my helmet on my hog. I wear my belt above my butt in back. I no longer wire my own CAT5 cables (poor eyesight.) I vote every time. There's a start.
posted by leafwoman at 7:34 PM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Shaking of the finger to indicate disapproval.
Clucking of the tongue " " "
The expressions "For shame," "There ought to be a law," "Well I never."

Politeness. Civility. Talking in complete sentences. All of which would go some way in explaining their lower numbers on the internet.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:53 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've noticed older people have a tendency to lick their lips more frequently than younger people. I'm not sure if it's simply that their lips dry out quickly, or if it's an artifact of wearing dentures or some other thing.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:08 PM on September 16, 2010

In a generally non-tipped, service-type position (running some type of cash register, let's say), I have only ever been tipped by elderly folk. It was never more than a dollar, and I always refuse by saying I didn't require a tip, but they always find a way to leave me that coin. In the same vein, I have also only ever been handed a wallet and expected to take the proper amount by an older person. This always made me insanely nervous, but it happened a lot more often than you'd think.

At my first job at a deli, it was generally the older crowd that asked for things using imperial measures, though all the prices are listed in metric. I suppose this might be uniquely Candian, mind you, despite most people still using imperial for personal weights/heights. Without doing the math, I couldn't tell you how many kilos I weigh.
posted by sunshinesky at 8:29 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Elderly people don't give a shit what anyone thinks about what they do. That's the fun of being elderly.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Winking.

I get winked at a lot by elderly people who think often remark, "My, you're like a little china doll." I've lost count of how many times I've heard this!
posted by loquat at 9:18 PM on September 16, 2010

Best answer: One quirky behaviour I've noticed in my elderly relatives (they are mostly in their 80s) is being constantly surprised at the price of everything. They seem amazed that item X costs, say, $8 and will exclaim over this outrageous price.

I think it's just that they are less aware of gradual price increases. For example, if I notice that last year something cost $7 and this year it's $8, I'm probably not thrilled about the price creep either, but for my elderly relatives it's downright shocking: what they remember is that Xs used to cost $4 and BAM! All of a sudden they're $8! And that's expensive! That's a 100% increase in price! What's up with that! It's like they are still thinking in 1985 prices or something and have forgotten about the intervening 25 years of inflation.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:39 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]

Remarking on a restaurant meal, some older persons are known to add its digestibility factor into their satisfaction rating, i.e.: "That was delicious! Went down well, too."
posted by Lynsey at 9:44 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Monologues at parties. Slow monologues.
posted by serena15221 at 10:11 PM on September 16, 2010

Talking endlessly about the sicknesses of people you have never met, or heard of, in great detail. My grandmother is also notorious for telling us far too many details about her bowel function, but I hope that is unique to her.
posted by sepviva at 10:19 PM on September 16, 2010

Sepviva it's definitely not unique to your grandmother!
posted by Coaticass at 12:03 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Driving SLOWLY
posted by paultopia at 12:03 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Strongly objecting to profanity and sex in movies and television. At least my mother always did, and I've heard this from a few other elderly people now and then as well.
posted by marsha56 at 12:33 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Older men of the era who served in WWII will sometimes still use military terms in institutional settings. For example, both of my grandfathers called the group dining rooms in their assisted living facilities the "mess" and their assigned tablemates "messmates". I suppose the feeling of eating institutional food on a schedule just hearkened back.
posted by clerestory at 3:36 AM on September 17, 2010

I was cared for a lot by my grandma, born in 1914, and I do a lot of the inflation/exact change stuff (stamps should be $.25, tops.) This stuff changes with the year and how old "elderly" is - a 60-year-old today was a child when Elvis was popular, and was, if female, probably among the first in their high school allowed to wear pants to school. If any 90-year-olds were still alive when those 60-year-olds were in first grade, the 90-year-olds remembered the end of the Civil War and likely marveled at "tin contraptions." My grandpa and his brother dropped out before 8th grade and talked about the first automobiles in Manhattan.

I find that I'm rare in liking cottage cheese unless I'm with people over a certain age, that my grandma's generation chafed at seat belt laws long after they were passed, and that everyone I know over 50 complains about plastic "junk" and light coins.
posted by SMPA at 7:57 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: My mother refers to jeans as "dungarees". She also refuses to get a debit card, and writes checks for everything. And still refers to hair conditioner as "creme rinse".

But the one thing that seems to be nearly universal is that once people hit 45 or so, they can and will talk endlessly about their own and other people's medical conditions.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:16 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: As a full-time, practicing old fart, I'll add a few elements to this amusing thread:

I've never said, "Well, I never."

I've vowed to almost never yak about my health, or yours, beyond a single courteous inquiry and response.

I still subscribe to the paper newspaper, the NYTimes and local paper, which land in my driveway daily and keep me company over coffee. No matter that I can spend an hour or two daily on newsy websites. I want the PAPER!

I get amused at all the "modern technology" younger people now use instead of plain old paper and pen, at great expense and inconvenience.

Eh? Eh? Because of ever-advancing Rolling Stone syndrome, I sometimes don't hear you clearly, especially in crowds or at parties. I probably run the tv too loud. I blame Mick Jagger, Bob Marley and the Talking Heads. Watch for my up-coming MeFi question on hearing aids!

You want the exact change? I got it. Here, let me count out some pennies for you. (I heard that sigh of impatience!) If I didn't give them to you, I'd have this enormous jar of pennies on the dresser, cluttering up the joint. I've noticed a lot of small business folks are very glad to have exact change, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, singles, especially early in the day. So I think I'm helping myself and them, too. And hell, I'm old, I don't have to go to work, I've got plenty of time. Sorry to keep you waiting. (Actually, it pisses me off, too, waiting behind some old fart counting out his/her pennies.)
posted by fivesavagepalms at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

Very interesting recent study shows that elderly with loss of executive function are more apt to make tactless critical comments that are accurate. The study showed people pictures of a fat teen girl, and the elderly without the censorship of working executive function where more apt to say the girl was fat and should, e.g., get more exercise. People with a working executive function tactfully wouldn't say the girl was fat, but also couldn't provide useful advice about how she could become less fat.
posted by orthogonality at 9:17 AM on September 17, 2010

Mod note: few comments removed - folk it would be great if you could not make metacomments on other people's comments. It's not a great thread as it is, help keep it alive and keep jokes to a minimum and fighty comments to a minimum, thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:18 AM on September 17, 2010

Hard candy.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:32 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: being constantly surprised at the price of everything.

I read here on metafilter once that people tend to gauge prices by what they were when they first started paying for them themselves- usually upper teens/early twenties. I'm not sure it's true, but it would explain a lot.

I love it when old people use antiquated words. My step-grandfather used "grip" to mean suitcase.) His idea of beauty was stuck in about 1950, too. Women should have short, neat hair that's "done," be thin, and wear noticable make-up.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:14 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

The use of possessive apostrophes in business names. For instance a store may be called "Mitchell Music" and say "Mitchell Music" on the sign, but the elderly will often call it "Mitchell's Music."
posted by sourwookie at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mod note: I'm not really certain what is happening but we're discussing this and other AskMe questions already in MeTa. Please answer the question or reach us in the usual fashions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:30 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: All I want to do is read novels and never wear a bra -- exactly like my grandma!

But she was a funny, sharp old lady, so I have hopes I will be, too. I'm already in the group that some are describing as elderly (over 45? really?), and my signs of encroaching age are that I'm no longer the least bit afraid to be rude to somebody I think deserves it (IRL, people! I'm actually nicer online than I am in person!), and I'm amazed at what things cost.

On the other hand, I'm much more open to new technology, music, evolving social mores and all sorts of "new" stuff than most people I know who are way younger than me, and I don't expect that is going to change drastically. People who get stuck in that sort of rut usually get stuck by age 20-something; if you make it beyond that with your curiosity and enthusiasm intact, I suppose it's mostly a question of catastrophic illness that affects the brain.

My parents used to (gently) make fun of my grandparents for being incredibly specific about which driving routes they took ("We took I-90 through Place/Place/Place, then we something, something, something). I can't even recreate it, because I'm not a driver at all, much less a cross-country driver. But now, my parents (kind of) do the same thing. They'll be telling me about some trip they took, and suddenly they're tossing in a bunch I-numbers and HWY-somethings. Is that an elder thing? I don't know.

Talking about death and illness is common. I hope to escape this. Again my parents making fun of (one of) my grandparents: " You remember So-and-So?" with a sort of upbeat tone... "S/hes dead." delivered with 'what're ya gonna do' fatalistic resignation.

So far in my advancing age, I find I'm more sweet on the inside, and more sour on the outside (far less willing to act like I don't notice when people are being assholey, and much — so much — more willing to (s)quash anyone trying to take advantage of me/my nice personality). I have no idea if that's common or uncommon, but it at least makes me reconsider a lot of ideas I had about elderly people when I was young.

I notice that older ladies often try to feed people &mdash even if it's instant coffee and 3-for-the-price-of-1 cookies they pick up just for this purpose. I think that it's cultural, and has to do with a time when the woman was supposed to be an exquisite hostess as one of her main skills. I think this is one stereotype that won't be in evidence once most of the people reading this thread become elderly. It will be more case-by-case, with people who miss cooking for a family eager to cook, and people who weren't into it being pretty much as lackadaisical as they always were. Or more.

Finally, my old age is apparently going to be obvious to everyone because I'm not going to give up writing (mostly) in full sentences, that are (mostly) grammatically correct, and (mostly) correctly spelled. There's not much I can do about that. Even now, I can't send text messages without punctuation. We all have our weaknesses. You will know me by my commas!!!
posted by taz at 12:34 PM on September 17, 2010 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm sorry that some people took offense by my wanting to know lists of things considered stereotypical or at least common for an older age set. I wasn't trying to perpetuate negative ageist stereotypes, rather quite the opposite-- I'm working on a piece about real life aging adventurous men and women who are in their 70's/early 80's but still capable of pretty wild things-- acts of underwater discovery and geographical exploration and the like. I don't know many elderly people personally so I'm trying to get a sense of how they are stereotypically perceived, in order to help turn the stereotype on its head and set up some interesting contrasts.

I thought I had been clear in my OP that this question was not meant to be offensive and that i realized the examples I was looking for were blanket generalizations. The examples that people listed were helpful, and those people that helped me answer my question and gave me the benefit of the doubt about my intentions are much appreciated. I hope this explanation helps clear things up.
posted by np312 at 1:24 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My grandma would collect the tabs off of regular soda cans, which she called bird callers. You hold it by the hinge end, hold the bigger end up to your lips, and say "here birdie-birdie-birdie!" She refused to carry glasses, so she pinched my grandpa's pair instead.

My grandpa would always ask where the "little boy's room" was instead of the restroom. He always carried a coin purse, a comb, a tiny pack of tissues, and a handkerchief.

[I'm assuming the asker is making a Geri's Game-esque production, which I heartily endorse.]
posted by Evilspork at 1:25 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: MexicanYenta: But the one thing that seems to be nearly universal is that once people hit 45 or so, they can and will talk endlessly about their own and other people's medical conditions.

45?! I just turned 45 and you can get the hell off of my lawn. If I am lucky enough to grow old -- you know, like 75 or 80 -- then I will bore you with tales of my bodily functions/failures. But how old are you that you would think 45 is old?

np312 I've found old people to be very good at taking their time. That's true whether I'm in a hurry or not, so sometimes it's a good reminder to slow down and other times it makes me grar. But they won't be rushed! you might find this book inspiring when working on your piece. It's from the 80s but still pretty amazing.
posted by headnsouth at 2:23 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is a certain cut-off (60?) when older people dress in a more formal fashion than the young especially when going to an event like the opera or church or to a party. My mom has an honest-to-god opera cape and she will wear a dress, pearls, and stockings to church even in the summer whereas the young women of the congregation wear shorts and t-shirts. Of course being elderly, she gets colder than younger people so she always has a sweater.

She and her friends have outfits-- polyester pant suits and blouses and scarves and even hats that they wear to the grocery store or the movies; my friends mostly just wear jeans and button down shirts or pull overs. The older ladies wear hose (or just footies) with their open-toed sandals. They never, never wear flip flops outside their own home.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:36 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: My grandparents seemed perpetually in great depression mode. Every time my grandmother ran the faucet to wash dishes she would fill a jar with the water until it was warm enough to use and then put the jar in the closet. But strangely, I don't think she ever used the water, just filled up the closet with jars of water.

Also, she would never just use a napkin, willy-nilly. She would tear it into quarters and therefore greatly extend the life of the napkin. Similarly, she only drank quarter or half cups of coffee at a time.

She said charming things like "oh my stars" and, if you were irritating her "listen here missy." She also played all kinds of card games.

Oh and she never went swimming.
posted by abirdinthehand at 2:48 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Talking about their bowel movements. God, please let me never do that.

Many old people drive slow, but my grandfather (80+ y/o) drives faster than anyone I've ever met, except his son, my dad.

Wanting to repair things instead of buy new ones, even things young people wouldn't (maybe young people should be more like this).

Nude pantyhose with sandals.

Those socks made of pantyhose instead of no socks or socks made of cotton.

Getting your (short) hair permed or using rollers. I don't know anyone under 60 who rolls their hair unless it's to do it for a formal event. This is recent, though, as rollers were still fairly popular with younger people through the '90s, even.

Wearing glasses on a chain.

Not cursing but having cute alternatives.
posted by elpea at 3:42 PM on September 17, 2010

I'm sixty. I don't have any kleenex up my sleeve. I don't have any health problems and wouldn't talk much about them if I did. I don't dress very differently from the way I did at 20, I still get most of my clothes in thrift stores, wear jeans and t-shirts. I weigh the same as I did then. I still cuss like a motherfucker. Yeah, I don't enjoy loud music quite as much as I did, but I still crank it up sometimes and dance. I wish I knew some place in town where an old lady like me could go out dancing to live rock and roll and not feel like I am older than all of the other dancers' parents. Why is dancing so age segregated anyway?
posted by mareli at 8:33 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can give you the flip side, which is that as a knitter in my late 30s, I'm often informed that I'm far too young to be knitting. Only old ladies knit, according to people who know nothing about knitting.

I live in a town which is both a popular retirement location, and a draw for elderly tourists. I adore all of them, each and every one, and it's only through the greatest resolve that I can keep from randomly hugging them on the street.

"Blue haired old lady" is a stereotype, but like so many stereotypes, it does have truth. I don't know at what age it becomes socially appropriate and acceptable to dye your hair blue. But I can tell you that I look forward to reaching it!

Pink hair rinse is also in existence, but not nearly as popular as the blue rinse.

At a certain age, women seem to almost universally adopt the same hairstyle. Short, with an overall rounded profile, and many large curls. I have a friend who (perhaps unkindly) calls this the "post-menopausal afro."

It may be a wig, but who would be so rude as to speculate so?

And of course, once you've gone to all the trouble to get your hair cut and styled and curled and given a blue rinse, you will want to be careful with it in the rain. I've never seen anyone under the age of 70 wear a transparent plastic hair bonnets, although I'm sure it has happened.

Finally, we have the color-coordinated outfit. Track pants and a track jacket, both electric blue with white piping. Mauve permapress slacks with a matching mauve jacket over a high-necked white polyester dress shirt. A powder blue twin set over a powder blue knee-length skirt. All paired with sensible shoes, naturally.
posted by ErikaB at 9:59 PM on September 17, 2010

This is based on the changes I'm noticing happening to my mother as she enters her 70s.

Recalling details of meals at restaurants down to the last ingredient, and how much money she saved by going to a 2-for-1 Tuesday night meal. Details include what sides there are, what sauce was provided, and how much value for money there was. There isn't as much detailing of how good the actual meal was.

Agree with the tissues up sleeves, the driving badly (although I suspect my mother always does that).

Expectations that senior citizens will play sensible sports such as lawn bowls. My mum does lawn bowls because she likes socialising, but also hiked through Carnarvon Gorge with her boyfriend at age 72.
posted by chronic sublime at 11:44 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: You wouldn't believe the massive Canasta marathons elderly ladies organized at my grandmother's place. And they were fierce, too. Crazy score-keeping, awesome snacks, and the infrequent clash.

I'm 26 and I love hanging out with elderly people, specially ladies. They are a beautiful window to nearly forgotten customs and traditions. And they have the most amazing stories and nearly always invite you to tea (yum).

Also, for your project I recommend watching "Waiting for God", It's a very, very funny British TV series that could show you the other perspective. An old accountant meets and old adventurer at a retirement home, and they have millions of adventures, and also become sort of activists against ageism. (That's the whole point of the series)

You really should see it. The first season's on line on Netflix. You'll probably find it very, very insightful.
posted by Tarumba at 4:55 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sometimes you'll see an older guy walking with his hands clasped behind his back. Try it. If you're younger it probably feels weird and even uncomfortable, but there must be something to it if you're older. My dad thinks it helps in breathing somehow. I don't know if that's true, but he's the one who pointed it out to me and, although not elderly yet, is something I think he avoids doing on the perception that it makes one look older.
posted by 6550 at 11:51 AM on September 18, 2010

Best answer: np312: After reading your clarification, I would like to recommend the excellent movie Strangers in Good Company, about a group of elderly women whose tour bus breaks down in an isolated area of Quebec. The movie is about their resourcefulness in taking care of themselves while they await rescue, and the things they gradually reveal to each other about themselves.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:25 PM on September 18, 2010

I noticed this morning that it seemed to be only the older gentlemen in my church who were wearing coats and ties. Everyone else was dressed 'business casual.'
posted by lester at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2010

I'm old enough to note that the more formal ways of the elderly stem from the fact that society itself expected more formal behaviour when they were younger. It simply carried thru to their dotage. ;-)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:17 PM on September 19, 2010

MexicanYenta: But the one thing that seems to be nearly universal is that once people hit 45 or so, they can and will talk endlessly about their own and other people's medical conditions.

45?! I just turned 45 and you can get the hell off of my lawn. If I am lucky enough to grow old -- you know, like 75 or 80 -- then I will bore you with tales of my bodily functions/failures. But how old are you that you would think 45 is old?

Actually, I'm 50. And I wasn't saying 45 is old; I meant that 45 seems to be the age when people become fascinated with health issues, and of course it continues for the rest of their lives. (I guess because that's when a lot of people really start noticing their body doesn't quite function the way it used to.) Personally, I don't find it fascinating, but I've come to realize that you can use it as a universal topic of small talk, and the older people get, the the more people they know who have just exactly the same medical condition, or they have a friend of a friend who had the same thing, and then "my cousin Mary's oldest daughter has a neighbor who thought he had the same thing, but when he went to the doctor, it turned out to be his gall bladder!"

Also, "old" is relative. To the high school freshman who sat next to me on the plane yesterday, I am old. And he would probably tell you that old people don't know the names of any of the roller coasters at Six Flags, and they all turn off their cell phones the first time the flight attendant tells them to, instead of playing with an app until the last possible minute. So you could probably add "they follow the rules" to the list of things most old people do.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:23 AM on September 20, 2010

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